Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Seven >> Page 39

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER SEVEN 39
In another moment, poor Mike Baynam beheld the seat of Aunt
Betsy occupied by the handsome aristocrat, Mr. Fairleigh, and he could
see that he bowed profoundly to Rose Carter and that she smiled pleas-
antly in reply, and put on the softest, and sweetest, and most amiable
of all expressions.
And what was the sickening at his heart when, a few moments after,
he saw Rose rise from her seat, give her hand to the stranger, and glide
happily, gracefully, and eagerly into the dance, which she had been
much too tired to enjoy with him!
He turned away from the sight; but, ever, with a fearful fascination,
would his eyes revert to the spectacle so full of pain to him of that
beautiful figure, whirling about so delightfully in the impetuous twirl
with her new companion!
Poor Aunt Betsy knew not what to say or what to do. She did not
now venture to nudge or approach the hunter. She clung close to a seat
in one corner of the room, in her favorite attitude of disquiet her
hands folded in her lap, and her body slowly rocking to and fro. She
had set her heart on one husband for her niece, and it was the disap-
pointment of a favorite hope when that niece, so artful, was so easily
beguiled by another. Her treatment of Mike, as her instincts well taught
her to fear, was the loss of a husband. Would she gain by it another?
and if she did, would that other be to her the good, gentle, loving com-
panion, which not unwisely she assumed, that Mike would have been?
Miss Scrymgeour, the plump, had fallen to the lot of Mr. Bulkley,
by the management of Squire Blanton. This young lady and Rose Carter
were the Squire's chief supports. They were the most showy girls in the
room, though so very different in style.
"My own girls," Blanton said to his wife, "haven't got the trick of it.
There is a trick in it, old woman, and you haven't altogether done the
part of a mother, in not teaching it to your daughters. I'm sure you had
it to perfection when you captivated me!"
Bulkley, taking his plump partner into the area, seized the opportu-
nity to whisper in the ears of Fairleigh:
"You have the luck of it, Ned. See what a sow they have put upon
me. What an armful of woman it is, for so slender a body as mine to
encounter.""Did you speak to me, Mr. Bulkley?" minced Miss Mahala
Scrymgeour.
"No! I just said to my friend, Fairleigh, how wonderful it was to find,
in our mountains, such a wonderful collection of fine women. Why,